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Instacart Deactivation: Why Instacart Deactivates & What To Do If It Happens

Last updated: August 17, 2021
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vector graphic showing instacart deactivation for driver

Working for any meal or grocery delivery services means working as an independent contractor.

Some of the biggest attractions of working on gig apps are having the flexibility to work whenever you want and a relatively high earning potential.

While there are several pros to working as an independent contractor, one of the biggest downfalls is that you can be let go at any time and often without warning.

You probably don’t need to worry too much about Instacart deactivating your account if you’re performing well professionally and responsibly.

Even though you probably won’t need to worry, silly mistakes can cause the platform to deactivate your account without you knowing what happened.

People make mistakes, and if you’re wondering about the Instacart deactivation policy and reasons, we can help.

Instacart Deactivation Policy

You can get kicked off the Instacart platform at any time for a variety of reasons.

Per their deactivation policy, the reason behind many account deactivations has to do with a shopper violating their independent contractor agreement.

When you sign up to work gigs with this platform, one of the main rules you agree to is that you will not make more than one account.

In addition to only making one account with the platform, you’re agreeing to protect the security of the Instacart platform by not sharing your private information with anyone and keeping it as protected as possible from scammers.

Why Shopper Accounts Get Deactivated

Instacart has been deactivating shoppers’ accounts one after another, often without giving a warning to independent contractors.

It seems that Instacart deactivation can happen for seemingly for no reason.

Shoppers’ have been working and earning a high income one day and were locked out of their account the next.

Instacart may have deactivated your account for one or more of these common reasons if this has happened to you.

The biggest reason Instacart will deactivate your account is if you’re not following Instacart’s contracts.

This rule applies to both delivery drivers and Instacart employees who are in-store shoppers.

Since many people don’t read agreements entirely and just hit the “agree” button, you may be surprised by some reasons Instacart can remove you as a driver.

Did you Know?

Instacart deactivations happen for many of the same reasons as a DoorDash deactivation. Make sure to avoid the line items below and protect your standing with Instacart.

1. You Don’t Follow Their Alcohol Policy

A favorite feature of Instacart is that users can order alcohol and have it delivered straight to their doors.

When you’re working with Instacart, you’re responsible for knowing and abiding by their alcohol policy.

When picking up and delivering alcohol to someone, you must verify their age by scanning their driver’s license.

If you do not follow these rules, you’re in direct violation of this policy, and Instacart will most likely deactivate your account.

The same can be said about most alcohol delivery apps.

2. You’re Participating in Fraudulent Activity

There are a few things that Instacart considers fraud.

If you’re using a bot to pick up extra gigs, Instacart can deactivate your account.

When you attempt to use bots on the app to pick up more gigs, you’re violating the agreement, which states you will not alter the app in any way.

Another instance of fraudulent activity this platform watches for is misusing the Instacart credit card.

Shoppers receive a credit card in the mail to pay for some orders.

If Instacart catches you using the credit card for personal gain, you can say goodbye to your Instacart account.

3. You’re Co-Shopping

Unless you’ve read through the independent contractor agreement thoroughly, users often miss this violation.

When working a gig with Instacart, co-shopping is not allowed.

Co-shopping is when you, as the Instacart Shopper, have brought someone along with you.

It can be a friend, child, or significant other.

Since whoever you’ve brought along doesn’t have an account with Instacart, you’re violating their co-shopping policy by bringing someone along and giving them unauthorized access to the platform.

4. You’re Breaking the Law

All Instacart shoppers must have valid car insurance to deliver through the app.

If you do not have your insurance up-to-date or lack a valid Insurance policy altogether, Instacart can deactivate your account.

If you break the law while actively working a gig with Instacart, there’s a good chance your account will be locked too.

Instacart can suspend or deactivate your account if you’re driving on a suspended license or are at fault for a car accident during your work hours.

5. You’re Constantly Canceling Gigs

The best thing about working on gig platforms is that you control the gigs you pick up or decline.

While this is true, if you’re regularly picking up gigs and canceling them before completion, your cancellation rate will increase.

Having a high cancellation rate can lead to Instacart deactivating your account.

6. You’ve Given a Receipt to the Customer

This one will probably surprise you, but per the policies on the contracts you signed, you cannot give the customer the receipt for the items you picked up for them.

Customers will get an electronic Instacart receipt, and shoppers should keep the physical one in case of false claims.

7. You’re Acting Unprofessionally

Even though you don’t work in an office with your boss watching over you, delivering and shopping with Instacart requires a level of professionalism.

A few things that Instacart doesn’t tolerate in employees or independent contractors are discrimination of any kind, theft, or not providing the safest possible experience for customers.

8. You Have Low Ratings

Having excellent customer ratings can only benefit gig workers.

If you have a large number of low ratings, there’s a good chance they will deactivate your account because you’re no longer providing a positive experience for customers.

How to Know if Your Instacart Account Has Been Deactivated

vector graphic showing instacart deactivation for driver

You’ll know if you’ve been hit by an Instacart deactivation in one of two ways.

Ideally, you would’ve seen an email from the company informing you that you’re no longer a gig worker with them.

You can quickly lose track of emails due to receiving hundreds a day, so the way many people find out they are no longer active on the Instacart shopper app is by not being able to log into their account.

What to Do if This Happens

What you should do if Instacart has deactivated your account depends on your personal wishes and whether or not there’s a chance for you to get redemption.

If you don’t want to search for another position where you may end up earning minimum wage or work for another gig app like Uber or Lyft, you can contact shopper support to dispute the deactivation.

If you’re unbothered by your account no longer being active, then you don’t need to do anything about this.

Can You Get Your Account Reactivated?

There is a possibility that you can reactivate your account and rejoin the members of the Instacart community.

Many of the reasons Instacart deactivates accounts are due to accidents.

If you believe Instacart deactivated your account in error or due to a simple mistake, contacting Instacart customer service is the first step towards reactivation.

Grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Shipt, and others don’t tolerate serious offenses.

If your account is no longer active due to harassment, discrimination, abuse, or you’ve broken the law, there’s a very low possibility that they will consider you for rehire.

So, whether you can get your Instacart account reactivated depends on their reason for initially locking you out of your account and whether or not those reviewing your appeal think you should have a second chance.

Appealing a Deactivation

Whether you know that Instacart deactivated your account in error or you don’t see the reason, your first step is to contact shopper support if you want to start appealing their decision.

When you reach out to them, you’ll need to provide your username and why you’re appealing the deactivation.

If you don’t know why Instacart deactivated your account, you can state this in your email.

Based on what other Instacart workers say after sending their email appealing the decision, shopper support states they will inform shoppers of the decision within 48 hours.

You’ll want to keep in mind that the appeal process may take longer with the high number of people who lose access to their accounts.

How to Avoid Being Deactivated

Even though Instacart is deactivating shoppers’ accounts left and right, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from deactivating your account.

1. Leave Food Alone When Delivering

When a customer orders on the platform, they’re trusting you with their food.

Leaving the customer’s food alone while you’re delivering is the best way to ensure that the customer is happy and gives you a high rating.

No one wants to receive their order to find out someone’s been getting into their food or that items are now missing.

Not only is tampering with someone’s food unprofessional, but food tampering is also illegal.

2. Be Responsible

There are many opinions on what constitutes responsibility.

However, it’s essential to be extra trustworthy when working as an independent contractor.

People trust you with their food and deliver it with care and make them feel safe.

Following all the delivery instructions given by the customer, avoiding a security breach by not sharing your password with anyone, and following their alcohol policy are all simple ways to remain responsible on the job.

3. Don’t Get Greedy

Any indications of fraud caught by the safety team are cause for deactivation.

As tempting as it may be to use the Instacart credit card for something not gig-related, it’s not worth it.

You’ll be sacrificing any potential earnings since Instacart support will remove you from the app.

Try buying yourself a treat each week when you’re out on the job with your own money that you’ve earned from your hard work.

Doing so will incentivize you to continue following Instacart’s rules.

4. Be Professional

Speaking to customers politely and professionally will ensure they have a positive experience.

A positive experience encourages them to leave a high rating. Accounts with a high rating tend to stay active.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of moving parts on any platform, especially delivery apps.

Here are some of the most burning questions revolving around Instacart customers and shoppers.

Can You Make a Second Instacart Account?

You cannot. Making a second Instacart account is a violation of the independent contractor agreement.

How do I Contact Instacart for a Refund?

You can email customer support, call their customer service number, or launch the help center to request a refund.

Can You Log Into Instacart on Multiple Devices?

You can, but you will need a verification code to be able to do so.

Can You Reactivate an Instacart Account After Deleting It?

If you’re the one who deleted your Instacart account, you may not be able to reactivate it.

What you’ll most likely have to do is create an entirely new account.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re an in-store shopper or only delivering with Instacart, knowing the reasons why Instacart could deactivate your account can help you avoid silly mistakes.

Even if you follow the rules, misunderstandings and accidents happen.

If they deactivate your Instacart account, you can go through the appeal process or seek employment with other gig platforms such as UberEats, Grubhub, or Postmates.

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